Communicator Transcription Guidelines by iuu13646


									                Communicator Transcription Guidelines
                             Version 1.2, March 9, 2000

This document contains the specification for transcription of speech in the Communicator
program. Per the Communicator Evaluation Committee’s request, with the exception of
spelled letters, a proper subset of the final ATIS transcription specifications is used.

The transcription is intended to be an orthographic lexical transcription with a few details
included to represent audible acoustic events (speech and non-speech) present in the
corresponding waveform files.

Transcription may be made in two passes: the first pass in which words are transcribed
and an optional second pass in which additional details (non-speech phenomena) may be
added. Many non-speech phenomena (loud inhalations, coughing, hissing, smacking,
TV-in-background, etc.) are easy to miss unless specifically attended to. For
Communicator, the annotation of these non-speech artifacts is not required, but it is
supported for those sites who wish to record such information. Note, however, that these
non-speech annotations will be ignored in scoring.

Transcriptions developed using these guidelines will be referred to as CTF
(Communicator Transcription Format) transcripts and may be stored in a file with a .ctf

Required transcription rules:

1. Case

   Transcriptions may use normal capitalization. However, case will be ignored in

2. Spelling

   Follow American Heritage Dictionary (AHD) conventions where possible.

3. Number Sequences

   Transcribe number sequences (flight numbers, times, dates, aircraft types, dollar
   amounts, etc.) as spoken in word form. For example,

               flight six one three
               flight six thirteen
               seven thirty
               august twenty first
               seven forty seven
   Note: Care should be taken to transcribe the digit "0" as "zero" or "oh", depending on
   what the speaker said.

4. Letter Sequences

   Spoken letters occur in acronyms and abbreviations. Transcribe each spoken letter in
   lower case followed a period and a space. For example,

               d. f. w.
               five thirty p. m.
               washington d. c.

   Transcribe inflections of letters as if they were inflections of words. For example,

               b. (no space between s. and ing)
               i. d.ed him
               the t.'s last name
               i. b. m.'s new machine
               the ten c. e. o.s' votes

   If a speaker pronounces an acronym or abbreviation as a word, transcribe it as a word
   (e.g., "den" or "bos"), rather than as separate letters (not "d. e. n." or "b. o. s.").

5. Contractions

   When a standard orthographic form exists for a contraction and the contraction is
   actually spoken, transcribe it as spoken (e.g., "can't"; "don't"; "i'd"; "we'd", "y'all").

   For verbal contractions in which words are phonetically reduced and elided, if a
   written version of the contraction does not exist in formal American English, use the
   expanded form of the constituent words. For example,

               Spoken          Transcribed
               wanna           want to
               wanna           want a
               gonna           going to
               hafta           have to
               useta           used to
               oughta          ought to
               sonova          son of a

6. New or Invented Words

   For new or invented words, if each constituent can stand alone as an independent
   word, transcribe the constituents as hyphenated words or separate words. Otherwise,
   concatenate the constituents without a hyphen. Bear in mind that hyphens are treated
   as whitespace in scoring speech recognition accuracy. For example,

              Spoken         Transcribed
              ecommerce      e-commerce (or e commerce)
              cybercafe      cybercafe (not cyber-cafe)
              cancelbot      cancel-bot (or cancel bot)

   In the last example, "bot" is considered to be a legitimate word.

7. Compound Words

   Follow the AHD for hyphenation of common compound words. If the word is not in
   the AHD, follow the convention for new or invented words in section 6. For

              In AHD

              Not in AHD
              under-floor column (or under floor column)

   The existence of such a compound word does not preclude the use of its component
   words independently in different contexts. For example, the following should be
   transcribed as shown (with both "after noon" and "afternoon").

              seven p. m. is after noon but it is in the evening not in the afternoon

8. Punctuation

   Do not use any English sentence punctuation such as periods, commas, question
   marks, exclamation marks, etc.

   Transcribe only the special abbreviations "Mr.", "Ms.", and "Mrs." in their
   abbreviated form. All other words should be represented in their full spelled-out

   Use only 7-bit ASCII characters. Do not use accent marks on foreign imported words
   (e.g, "fiance" not "fiancé").

9. Mispronunciations
   If a speaker mispronounces a word and the mispronunciation cannot be interpreted as
   another properly pronounced word, transcribe the word as it is spoken, surrounded
   with asterisks. For example,

               show me flights from *atlanty* to dallas

10. Pause Fillers

   Transcribe pause fillers as words enclosed in square brackets. If possible, try to limit
   these to this list: [uh], [um], [er], [ah], [mm].

11. Word Fragments

   If a speaker does not completely pronounce a word, spell out the fragment of the
   word that was spoken followed by a hyphen to indicate the missing portion of the
   word. For example,

               show me the fli- flights to boston

   Optionally, if the identity of the fragmented word is obvious, the missing portion of
   the fragmented word can be shown in parentheses. The example above can be
   transcribed as:

               show me the fli(ghts)- flights to boston

   The spoken fragment convention should also be used for false starts/restarts in which
   words are cut off. For example,

               i- i need a flight on Thursday (where the first i was not completely

   Within word hesitations may be transcribed as:

               dal- -as (indicating a silence interrupting a word)
               dal- [um] -las (indicating a within word interruption - rare)

   Note that fragments will be scored as optionally deletable words.

12. Yes/No Sounds

   Transcribe as spoken. Do not enclose it with square brackets. For example,

               yep                    nope
               yup                    nah
               um-hum                 hum-um
               uh-huh                 uh-uh
              mm-hmm                 hmm-mm

13. Other Acoustic Events

   Other non-speech acoustic artifacts may be transcribed with a string enclosed by
   square brackets [description_of_event]. It is suggested that this convention be used
   sparingly. A list of some possible non-speech artifacts is given below.

   [TV]               [baby]                 [baby_crying]         [baby_talking]
   [barking]          [beep]                 [bell]                [bird_squawk]
   [breathing]        [buzz]                 [buzzer]              [child]
   [child_crying]     [child_laughing]       [child_talking]       [child_whining]
   [child_yelling]    [children]             [children_talking]    [children_yelling]
   [chiming]          [clanging]             [clanking]            [click]
   [clicking]         [clink]                [clinking]            [cough]
   [dishes]           [door]                 [footsteps]           [gasp]
   [groan]            [hiss]                 [horn]                [hum]
   [inhaling]         [laughter]             [meow]                [motorcycle]
   [music]            [noise]                [nose_blowing]        [phone_ringing]
   [popping]          [pounding]             [printer]             [rattling]
   [ringing]          [rustling]             [scratching]          [screeching]
   [sigh]             [singing]              [siren]               [smack]
   [sneezing]         [sniffing]             [snorting]            [squawking]
   [squeak]           [static]               [swallowing]          [talking]
   [tapping]          [throat_clearing]      [thumping]            [tone]
   [tones]            [trill]                [tsk]                 [typewriter]
   [ugh]              [wheezing]             [whispering]          [whistling]
   [yawning]          [yelling]

   As noted in the Switchboard Transcription, "effort expended on extremely detailed
   marking of noise has not proven productive to date."

   Note that these annotations will be ignored in scoring.

14. Nonstandard Grammar

   Do not attempt to correct nonstandard grammar. If a phrase such as, "i'd like to take
   them flights" was spoken, transcribe it as it was spoken.

15. Resolution of Questions

   Direct all questions about the transcription specifications to your local MADCOW
   Committee Representative.

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